ca-certificates 2014.2.1 will remove several still valid CA certificates with weak keys

Reindl Harald h.reindl at
Fri Oct 31 15:11:46 UTC 2014

Am 31.10.2014 um 15:53 schrieb Nikos Mavrogiannopoulos:
> On Fri, 2014-10-31 at 09:49 -0500, Michael Catanzaro wrote:
>>>> We should work with the upstream OpenSSL and the GnuTLS projects,
>>> and
>>>> motivate them to implement more advanced path building. This would
>>> be a
>>>> long term project.
>>> Is there some issue with gnutls in F21? As far as I understand it
>>> should
>>> work as expected with the certificates removed.
>> It works as expected in the sense that GnuTLS can no longer handle major
>> web sites like Amazon and Kickstarter, this being the natural
>> consequence of removing a root before the certificates issued by it have
>> expired....
> Are you sure that this is the case with the current package? My F21 can
> no longer connect to network to test, but gnutls in it should
> reconstruct the chain similarly to what nss does (not very similarly to
> be precise but the end result should be the same). If it is not the case
> please report it as bug and I'll check it out.

the point is that if somebody buys a certificate for 6 years he may have 
a checklist when to change them and if some 3rd party decides to remove 
the CA certificate -> game over for users of that 3rd party

from where will you "reconstruct the chain"?

* webserver a) has a certificate for 6 years
* the issuer is CA b) which you remove
* you make that certificate invalid by intention
* frankly, that certificate still shows "i am valid until"
* that certificate would have to be replaced
* that won't happen in many cases

you can hope and expect that large internet copmanies are doing that in 
a timely manner, but you *really really* can not expect that from 
anybody out there and you won't notice small websites and other services 
breaking caused by that

the worst case is that somebody with no technical clue installed the 
certificate, becomes very few complaints, verfies that it works 
everywhere and claims Fedora to be broken - and frankly he is just right 
with that claim because nobody but the CA is in the position to revoke 
CA certs which are valid

there is a difference in CA's call back certificates and force there 
users to re-new their certificates or a random OS supplier just removes 
them from the chain - the CA normally knows which certificates are 
issued for which customer with a specific CA certificate - the blind 
butcher making CA certificates invalid don't know

the whole CA trust idea is broken by design, but you won't fix it by 
remove vaild CA certificates *without coordinate that with the affected 
CA and make sure all affected customer certificates are replaced*

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 181 bytes
Desc: OpenPGP digital signature
URL: <>

More information about the devel mailing list